The adulterous woman albert camus full text
This plot summary, however, does not adequately convey the thrust of “Abyss”; the journey to and experience of the desert in Ford’s story are elements of a narrative whose greater intention is to offer a modern parable on the inescapable causal relation between acts and consequences in the moral context of infidelity.
Nor do the temporal or cultural settings of the protagonists’ lives suggest obvious correspondences: the protagonists of “La femme adultère” are in post-Second World War Algeria, while Ford’s male and female protagonists are real estate agents in contemporary America.Yet, for all that might appear divergent in their thematic concerns and cultural contexts, a comparative analysis reveals that the structures and narrative dynamics of Camus’ and Ford’s stories originate to an important degree in their recourse to similar literary motifs, formal properties and, ultimately, themes.Indeed, the symmetry in narrative construction and thematic interests creates an intertextuality that illuminates not only themes the stories share but also the deployment of the literary motifs that determine the configuration of both narratives.In the comparative analysis to follow, the emphasis will indeed fall on literary motifs and not on literary reception: Richard Ford has, of course, read Camus, but had not read “La femme adultère” when he wrote “Abyss.”  2 The symmetry between the stories can best be appreciated initially by an overview of their shared structure and emplotment: a woman and a man in intimate relation to each other leave their familiar urban environment and travel together into the desert.There, they are exposed to a world that is unfamiliar in both its physical and human aspects, eliciting radically different responses from the female and male protagonists.
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The male characters are variously impatient with, dismissive of and hostile to the physical and cultural otherness of the desert world, while both female protagonists are deeply affected by their desert experiences, culminating in both cases in a spiritual transformation – fully realised in one protagonist and developing in the other before being brutally terminated.